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Tue 1 Sep 2015 10:18 AM

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Electrical short circuit blamed for fatal Saudi Aramco fire

Authorities also have revealed five of the 10 victims on Sunday were Canadian, Pakistani and Nigerian citizens

Electrical short circuit blamed for fatal Saudi Aramco fire

An electrical short circuit is believed to be the cause of a fire that killed 10 people and injured hundreds at a residential compound for Saudi Aramco employees on Sunday, a preliminary investigation shows.

Five of the victims were identified on Monday, although only their nationalities have been released. They include three Canadian citizens of Asian origin, a Pakistani and a Nigerian woman, local media reported.

The Civil Defense revised the death toll down from 11 and confirmed 259 people had been injured, including 80 people who remain in hospital, according to the Saudi Gazette.

The electrical short circuit reportedly occurred in an underground car park of the compound, in the Eastern Provence. Thirty-five vehicles also were destroyed in the blaze.

Saudi Aramco says it employs more than 61,000 workers worldwide from 77 countries.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the fatalities and injuries which resulted from the fire,” Saudi Aramco acting president and CEO Amin H. Nasser was quoted as saying to local media.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. Our immediate priority is to provide full support to those affected by this tragic incident.”

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